Monday, January 28, 2013

Peek through the Smoke!

Over the past few months, several of my friends and acquaintances have lost loved ones. A mother, a father, a child. All too young to die. All from good God-fearing families. And though we prayed and prayed and prayed, they died anyway. Death is such a hard thing to take. Oddly, though we all know it will happen to us all, it seems so unnatural. That's why people who've lost a loved one go into shock afterward. It takes them a long time to accept that they won't see that person again.

Not in this life anyway. At least the hope of seeing them again in the next life brings some comfort to those left behind. Without that hope, I have no idea how people cope.  Call it a crutch, a fantasy, whatever you want, but that hope of another world beyond this one is what keeps me going day by day. It's not a frivolous hope or wishful thinking as some may say. It's a hope grounded in belief, which in turn is grounded in my relationship with God. And that relationship is more solid and real to me than most relationships I have with people.

So, what is God's perspective on death? Why, if He is such a loving God, does He allow good people to die young? It seems so cruel, doesn't it?

Good people pass away;  the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.  For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die. Isaiah 57:1-2  NLT

Now, imagine you're in glass room filled with smoke. You wander about, talk to people, live your life, but everything seems a bit hazy.  Food is good, you have friends, a job, moments of joy, as well as despair, but in all of that, you sense something isn't right. Something isn't as it should be. There's got to be something more, something better, something beyond the smoky room.

Then occasionally the smoke clears for a second and you get a glimpse of a world beyond the room. A world of such astounding beauty, you can only stare in awe. Waterfalls, and crystal lakes and flower-laden fields, rolling green hills, blue skies and such glorious creatures as you've never seen. Then the smoke covers it and you plant your hands on the glass, begging for one more look.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12  NLT

We have no idea what awaits us on the other side of death, except for the few hints the Bible gives. But those hints are marvelous!  For more on that, check out my Millenial series.  

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,  and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
But the point here is, why do we cling so tightly to our smoky rooms??  Why do we want so badly to stay?  If we knew what awaited us beyond the veil, we'd be begging God to take us home!  We'd be happy for our loved one who went on ahead of us. Missing them terribly, yes, of course, (I don't mean to demean in anyway the horrible grief of losing someone you love) but realizing that God,  foreseeing some future calamity would befall them, pulled our loved one of the smoky room and into the glorious world of eternity. They are so much better off than we are!! 

And we will see them again. If we have made the choice to receive the free ticket Jesus offers us as entrance. That ticket He paid for with His own life on a cross. That's all we have to do is receive it and then follow Him around the smoky room. Not to a boring life of drudgery or restrictions, but to a life as full as the smoky room will allow. And then one day, God will lead you from that smoky room into an unimaginable paradise.

Whether you've recently lost someone or not, I hope this encourages you and gives you hope. There is something not quite right about this world, but we are just passing through to something far better!


  1. Mon Jan 28th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Ahhh, yes ... "peek through the smoke". I am SO looking forward to the day I get to go "Home" and be with the Lord "forever" !!!
    The ones who have 'gone on before us' ... have truly got it made ... they are absolutely in the best place they could ever possibly be !
    And, to the fact that "there is something not quite right about this world" ... so very true !!!
    But the glorious hope of your next line: ".... But, we are just passing through to something far better" -- Amen, and, Amen to that !!! Just "passing through" ... best we remember that, each and every day while still here on Earth.
    Thanks again, for another 'timely Word in due season'.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  2. Amen. It is our comfort to know that no matter what sorrows this life may bring, we are not bound to this world forever. But, it still is always hard to lose a loved one. Death is just another proof of sin, and our need for Christ.

  3. Amen MaryLu!
    Some days I long so much to be delivered from the smoke that my heart aches. What a comfort to know that, when the time comes, it will be so much more incredible than we can even imagine!

  4. Each year that passes the more I look forward to the "world beyond the room". Knowing that everything there will be perfect as God intended should make us all a little 'homesick'.

  5. Oh I cannot wait to see Him! I know that this is not my home and I long for home....but at the same time I know so many that do not know Him yet. So I am thankful there is still some time here. I know I need to work harder. Thank you for this post!

  6. Great post, MaryLu, and so insightful! When my mom passed away, I was only 28 and had 3 small children. I was so upset, I told God that I wasn't done needing her yet. After awhile, I realized that I would have never been done needing her. I truly believe that God takes some Christians home early, to spare them from some future pain.
    I shared the link to this blog with the crew, so that they can join the site and share your posts. Hugs.

  7. Brenda.. I love that phrase too. Whenever something bad happens to me or my family I just whisper.. "I'm just passing through!" It actually makes me feel a lot better!

    Agreed Emma.. so hard to lose loved ones. Thank God, Jesus defeats Death in eternity!

    Hi Sarah! I'm with you! It's getting awfully smoky in here! Can't wait for it to clear. :-)

    Amy, Me too!! I can't wait!

    Johnette, we all need to work harder while we are here. I don't feel as though I've finished everything quite yet. God knows..

    Chaplain, that was so young to lose your Mom. :-( I know I've told you before how sorry I am. Some day you will know the exact reason God tool her so early. What a comfort that will be.

  8. Thanks, MaryLu, for this great post. What a joy it is to know that we'll see our loved ones on the other side. Can you imagine the family reunion that will take place? WOW! I can't wait! And to be able to see our King face to face. I can't even begin to fathom what that will be like. Just the thought brings tears to my eyes. :)